Remember the Alamo!
“We’re skipping this project, right?” Gabby shouts from the back of the bus.
“No, you can’t just skip every project!” I shout back, “Come here!”
Gabby brings her iPad to the front, where I am sitting. She explains that she NEEDS to make griddle cakes. I’m sure that good homeschool moms read ahead in their kids’ lesson plan and have all the ingredients on hand. I am not that mom. So, now, here I sit. I have already said that we cannot skip the project. I have no ingredients on hand and no idea how to make a griddle cake. I hand Gabby my phone.
“Is the project scheduled for several days? Why don’t you find a recipe today and the next time that we go to the store we can get the ingredients?”
She agrees. The first hit in google is an Alton Brown recipe of a cinnamon roll griddle cake topped with icing. You can see the sugar-laden excitement race through her eyes.
“I got one!” Gabby exclaims as she hand me my phone.
“I’m sure that’s not what they meant. Are you studying pioneer times?” I ask and I start googling ‘griddle cakes’ hoping to find something lame made of corn meal and lard, but at the same time hoping that I get to enjoy the cinnamon roll goodness, too. I find 4 more variations of cinnamon roll griddle cakes. I concede.
“O.K. next time we go to the store we’ll buy some stuff.” I say, secretly hoping she will forget.
She does not forget. I went more than a week with her reminding me each and every day, “Mom! We need to make griddle cakes!”
I was running out of excuses. Michael overhears us. He calls Gabby to the front to sit by the driver’s seat while he is driving the bus.
“What are you studying?” he asks.
“The Alamo.” Gabby answers with a defeated voice.
“Guess what!” Michael’s face lights up as he realizes he has a winning answer. “Let me back up,” he says, “What do you think the spirit of the exercise is? Is it to eat a sugary pancake or to bring to life something from that time frame?”
Gabby’s grumbles even more, realizing that she is not going to get her cinnamon roll pancake, “To bring to life something.”
“Well!” Michael explains, “The Alamo is in San Antonio, and we are going to be in San Antonio in 3 weeks! Which do you think would bring the project to life more, eating a pancake or visiting the actual space where the event too place?”
“Visiting.” Gabby answers, still in a grumble, but starting to perk up.
“Would you like to visit the Alamo?” Michael asks.
“Yes,” she replies.
“Great! It’s settled then. You are done with your history for the day! We’ll visit in three weeks.” Michael concludes.
Gabby skips to the back, realizing she does not have complete a worksheet today.
Michael continues driving, feeling like ‘Dad of the Year’.
We didn’t get the Alamo visit on the first trip to San Antonio, but we made it a priority before we headed North. It was actually more like 6 weeks before we got to visit. Bus parking was not easy to come by, but we made it work.
We walked through the Alamo, stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant, took a riverboat tour, had dessert at the Rainforest cafe, and then walked back to the bus for our drive North. It was a quick visit, but a happy memory for all.